Graduate Programs

Astronomy class at the Mount Cuba observatory in Wilmington where instructor explains the telescopes, uses and applications and shows students how to identify objects in the sky.

Physics: Ph.D., M.S.

 

Program Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy (DPA) offers a graduate program leading to the Ph.D. or M.S. degree in physics. Nearly all Ph.D. students starting in the program receive funding support as graduate teaching assistants (TAs). More senior Ph.D. students are usually supported from research grants as graduate research assistants (RAs). TA or RA support is not usually available for Masters students.

 

Requirements for the M.S. degree

The M.S. with thesis degree requires 24 credits hours of graded PHYS courses, including at most three credits of research (PHYS 868). Among 24 required credits, at least six credits must be at the PHYS 800 level. In addition, six credits of thesis work (PHYS 869) are required. The purpose of the M.S. thesis is to demonstrate that the student can conduct research under supervision and communicate the results clearly in English. The thesis is defended in an oral examination administered by a committee of three members of the department.

The M.S. without thesis degree requires 30 credit hours of graded PHYS courses, including at most three credits of research (PHYS 868). Among 30 required credits, at least six credits must be at the PHYS 800 level. In addition, the degree candidate will survey the literature on a current topic in physics or astronomy, write a report on this topic and make a public presentation to the department, represented by three members of its faculty.

 

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree

Students may enter the Ph.D. program directly after a bachelor’s degree, or after successfully completing an M.S. degree program at the University of Delaware or elsewhere. Funding support, in the form of a graduate teaching assistant stipend, is preferentially offered to students in the Ph.D. program.

To obtain a Ph.D., students are required to complete 30 credit hours of graded class work, with an average grade of 3.0 or better, within the first five semesters after entering graduate school.

In parallel with this coursework, students are expected to begin to conduct research in their first year. Before the end of their fifth semester, they must complete a research readiness exam consisting of a written report and an oral presentation. By the end of their third year in the program, they must present an oral dissertation proposal to their dissertation committee, outlining their Ph.D. research plans. Upon successful completion of a research program, the Ph.D. candidate will write a dissertation showing originality of thought and scholarship, properly expressed in English. The dissertation is defended in an oral examination administered by the student's dissertation (doctoral) committee.

Students entering the program with at least a U.S. master of science degree, or its equivalent, in physics or a closely related field may be eligible to follow the less coursework-intensive fast track. Eligibility for the fast track will be determined by the DPA Graduate Admissions Committee.

 

Application Deadlines


FALL:

January 31: To be considered for departmental funding
July 1: Final deadline to apply

SPRING:

November 1: Final deadline to apply

UD Tuition


The 2022-2023 UD graduate student tuition rate per credit hour is $979.